Byrness St Francis


Welcome to the webpage of  

St Francis Church, Byrness.

Linked with Holy Trinity Horsley, and part of the Church of England North Tyne and Redesdale Team in The Diocese of Newcastle


Team Rector

Revd Dr. Susan Ramsaran

01434 220019



Roger Wilson

01434 240435



“Built in 1793 and consecrated three years later, St Francis church was at one time the smallest parish church in the diocese of Newcastle. The stained glass window, installed in the south wall in 1903 commemorates those of the community who died during the period of construction of the nearby Catcleugh Reservoir and was paid for by their fellow workers. It is reputedly the only such window to include the depiction of a narrow gauge railway.”


Church Services

9.00 am

Parish Worship

on the 1st Sunday of each month

3.00 pm

Parish Worship on 3rd Sunday of each month

Click here for other local church services.


The church building is open during daylight hours and we welcome visitors and pilgrims of all faiths or none.



The church is situated on the A68  to the south of Byrness Village. Click map for details.

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ABOUT a quarter of a mile from Byrness village in the upper Rede valley, where the Pennine Way crosses the main A68 road, is one of the smallest churches in Northumberland. Measuring 8.5m  by 5.5m, it  was  built between 1793 and 1796, reputedly on an ancient burial ground, and only relatively recently, 7 May 1978, was dedicated to St Francis of Assisi.

The church was originally erected as a Chapel-of-Ease ..

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A Unique Window

Set into the south wall of St Francis is a beautiful stained glass window commemorating the 64 men,women and children who died during the construction of Catcleugh Reservoir 1884-1905, Their names are recorded  on a brass plaque nearby.

The window depicts labourers who worked at Catcleugh – their clothing, tools and equipment – and a boy holding a water container. The landscape of the upper Rede valley, hills, rocks and plants, provides the backdrop although much of the area is now forested.

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Saint Francis

Byrness Church was dedicated to Saint Francis as recently as 1978. It has been suggested that a churchwarden had visited Assisi, the home of Francis, and thought the scenery was similar. Whether that is true or not, the story of Francis is inspirational in many ways.

Click on the picture to find out more about St Francis